пятница, 18 марта 2011 г.

The Bowling king is bankrupt


Recently, the administration of the Swiss VP-bank fired the manager of the investment fund affiliated to the bank - Omega Investment AG, Vladislav Shusterov because of discovered financial machinations. Omega Fund appeared in St. Petersburg in 2007 and attracted a lot of money shareholders. Today yet the former fund manager, former founder of the chain of elite Petersburg bowling clubs “Bowling City” and former owner of a large Latvian bank Vladislav Shusterov is sought by numerous creditors, including the well-known bank "Oil Alliance"(“Neftyanoy alliance”).

Very little is known about this fund, probably due to the fact that the original creator and former director - 52-year-old Vladislav Schuster had been about the major shareholders who could make serious investments in the prestigious real estate through Omega Real Estate Equity.

In general the fund appeared in 2007, held several behind-the-scenes parties, where thick brochures in Russian and English languages had been given out. Interestingly, the twisty name Omega Real Estate Equity figured only on the covers of brochures, in fact the same fund was called Omega Investment AG, as, incidentally, it was written in the brochures if one read it carefully.

In July 2007, in St. Petersburg OOO “Omega Investment” appeared a wholly-owned by Omega Investment AG with director general - Vladislav Schuster.

Omega Investment AG is registered in the kingdom of Liechtenstein, with the participation of the largest Swiss bank VP Bank Limited and the management company affiliated with the bank IFOS. In the brochure of Omega Real Estate Equity fund, VP Bank Limited was listed as a bank depository, while the fund Omega Investment AG was listed as one of the 11 funds associated with the Swiss bank on the site of the bank.

According to the information on the site VP Bank Limited, one can conclude that on December 31, 2008 the net asset value of the fund was estimated at 1.3 million euros. According to Walter Moretti - head of the Moscow office of the Swiss Bank, the money pointed on the website are that Omega Investment AG has attracted, inter allia from the Russian shareholders. Interestingly, the shares of this fund are the most expensive of the 11 associated with the VP Bank Limited funds. On December, 31 of the last year they were estimated at almost 976 euros each.

On February 1, 2010 the fund manager Vlad Shuster lost his post and his signature from that time has become void, as it is mentioned on the Swiss business website moneyhouse.ch. Walter Moretti commented on this occasion that Schuster had been fired in connection with the financial fraud discovered.

In 2004, Vladislav Schuster - former employee of the bowling club “Sharovnya” (known place of St. Petersburg for its VIP hangouts) was in the focus of the entire business of St. Petersburg because he was leading the then most fashionable urban entertainment project - building a chain of bowling clubs. First, the journalists saw Mr. Shusterov as Deputy General Director of the consulting company "NA Inform Consulting”, which owned OOO “Bowling City”. The OOO was going to open a bowling club in the new shopping and entertainment center in the Sennaya square, but as it suddenly turned out "NA Inform Consulting” decided to give up the project and sold " Bowling City" to some offshore company Polemex Ltd. The offshore representative that communicated with journalists was Vladislav Schuster again.

Later it was announced of a grandiose event: OOO “Bowling City” planned to open largest chain of bowling clubs in St. Petersburg, which, incidentally, did happen in a moment.

In 2006, the general director of "Bowling City" Yuri Vatlin in an interview with "Business Petersburg" explained that "NA Inform Consulting” declined the fashion project because it decided to get rid of noncore assets - the company allegedly was specializing in consulting. Today, a representative of the National Assembly Inform Consulting has spoken out frankly:

"We gave OOO “Bowling City” to an offshore Polemex Ltd associated with Shusterov, because for us it was the cheapest way to stop the cooperation with this man. We did not get a penny from the offshore, and we put only one condition: Schuster had to redesign on himself all debt obligations associated with the preparation for the opening of a bowling club, which he had overseen as our employee ...»

Interestingly, Vladyslav Shusterov had already been in trouble because of the finances. For example, the Latvian press associates his name with the collapse of the largest local commercial bank, which was located in the building of the Latvian Academy of Sciences - Latintr? Des banka.

Trouble in the financial institution began in the midst of the Latvian banking crisis of 1994-1995. In early January 1995, the local high-ranking government officials first talked about the "bank scams", in February they openly discussed the "banking crisis" and ways of recovery. Late March 1995, according to the Latvian Information Portal Kriminal.lv, Latintr? Des banka suspended its work as it was unable to pay the money to its depositors. In the words of journalists on Kriminal.lv, it was a real shock for Latvians: "Whatever happened in the bank, its owner was Schuster and high-ranking people worked in there - ex-ministers Auseklis Lazdins and Elmar Silins, as well as former employees of the Ministry of Finance Nelly Ermolitskii and Guntis Urlovskis. In addition, according to the Latvian "Nezavisimaya Gazeta Morning", Raimonds Pauls himself trusted this bank and kept his savings there.

Speaking about the financial problems that rocked the country, according to Kriminal.lv, on May 10, 1995 the adviser of the Bank of Latvia Uldis Clauss «stated publicly that the shareholders and managers of the commercial banks were to blame, whose activities were criminal, and some of them should not sit in the Mercedes, but in prison.”

According to the Information Centre B&B, in September 95-year Latintr? Des banka was declared bankrupt. The court also found signs of intentional bankruptcy. During its work the liquidator had received two thousands of claims from creditors of the Bank at14 million lats in total. They managed to return about half a million only.

Apparently, Vladislav Shusterov had to quickly decide to leave Latvia. The Latvian newspaper "Business & the Baltics" in one of its articles mentioned his name among the "unfortunate, and even ambiguous-reputatation bankers and financiers, who as usual "immigrated to Russia."

Source: "Fontanka

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